(Poetry) An Hourly Rate

Trying to look forward
Into my uncertain future,
What I am feeling
Is more or less
A sense of gain shadowed by cost.
Yet, it “shouldn’t” be so hard:
The calendar, binding like a suture
Stretched across time (for healing;
Adding to the stress),
Stems the flow of days lost.

I do admit a perspective marred
By my inner voice, saying “Your truth — your
Search for meaning — is appealing
Perhaps only to yourself, not the rest
Of the world (though we are equally by time tossed).

“And these fears that name you coward,
Keeping you sated with old joy, versus new cheer!
By avoiding the risks that send you reeling,
You skim the highs, the lows, the worst, the best.”
(I can choose when to listen, for I remain the voice’s boss.)

There’s a quote that goes, “A life well-spent, its own reward.”
Should I then gather life’s currency as a beggar, as a moocher?
I like the thought of earning my keep (without even a debt ceiling)
And paying my way — with trust funds of experience — as a personal test
That the future might be sturdy, though shed of gloss.



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